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Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2001 May-Jun;69(1-2):299-304.

Progesterone treatment during the early follicular phase of the menstrual cycle: effects on smoking behavior in women.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA.


The goals of this study were (1) to examine the feasibility of administering progesterone to women during the early follicular phase when the endogenous estradiol and progesterone levels are low, and (2) to investigate the effects of oral progesterone treatment on smoking behavior in female smokers. Twelve subjects had two experimental sessions, within 3-9 days after the beginning of their menses. In each experimental session, subjects received a single 200-mg dose of progesterone or placebo, orally. Two and a half hours after the medication treatment, subjects were assessed for subjective response to two puffs of a cigarette and then started the self-administration period in which they had the option to exchange their token for two puffs of cigarette, 15 min apart. Subjects had low levels of estradiol and progesterone before the first and second sessions. Plasma progesterone levels peaked in 2 h following progesterone treatment. Progesterone treatment attenuated the craving for and subjective effects from smoking. Under progesterone treatment, there was a trend for decreased smoking behavior. These preliminary results suggest that the early follicular phase of the menstrual cycle may be a useful interval to investigate the effects of exogenous progesterone in female smokers. The effects of progesterone on nicotine dependence need to be studied further.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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